Thursday, October 10, 2013

Now This is the Way to Retire... Alice Munro and her Nobel

Canadian author Alice Munro Wins 
the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature

Born Alice Laidlaw to a hard-pressed farming family of Scottish and Irish origins in rural Huron County, Ontario, in 1931, Munro studied at the University of Western Ontario. She married James Munro, later a bookseller, while still a student and did not complete a degree. The couple had four daughters but divorced in 1976; she married her second husband, geographer Gerald Fremlin, in 1977.

Munro published her first collection of stories - Dance of the Happy Shades - in 1968 and her 14th, Dear Life, in 2012. Over those 45 years, the "Canadian Chekhov" has won both critical reverence and the loyalty of fans across the world for stories that can encapsulate a life within a dozen pages, and for a tender but unsparing gaze on the ordinary events that assume giant dimensions in all our lives.

Excerpts from CTV News online:
Beloved Canadian author Alice Munro says that winning this year's prestigious Nobel Prize for literature feels "wonderful."  The Swedish Academy announced the decision Thursday, calling the 82-year-old author from Wingham, Ont., a "master of the contemporary short story." She is the first Canadian-born and raised writer, and the 13th woman to win the award.

She added that the coveted prize is on another level. "It's such a worldwide, important thing… I don't think along this line usually. "I don't reflect on my own career. I just go on and I'm always in the present pretty much."

Munro's publisher Doug Gibson told CTV's Canada AM that the decorated author, who won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, is adored by fans worldwide for her short stories about "ordinary Canadian people."
"Here we have a world prize being won by someone who writes about housewives in Vancouver, booksellers in Victoria, bean farmers in Huron County and accountants and teachers and librarians --ordinary Canadian people, and she turns it into magic," he said.

Munro, 82, who recently said she will retire from writing, has amassed numerous literary prizes, including the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. 

Here are five of Munro's best-known, award-winning books:

Dance of the Happy Shades
Munro's first collection of short stories, published in 1968, won the Governor General's Award. It introduced readers to classic Munro themes: life in rural southwestern Ontario, where she grew up, and coming-of-age struggles.

Lives of Girls and Women (1971)

The Lives of Girls and Women

This collection of stories that revolve around heroine Del Jordan has been classified as a novel. It was published in 1971 and won the Canadian Booksellers Award.
A TV adaptation of the book was created in the 1990s.

Who Do You Think You Are

Published in 1978, this story collection had a different title outside Canada: The Beggar Maid. It centres on the relationship between two women: Flo and her stepdaughter Rose. The book won the 1978 Governor General’s Award for English fiction. 

 The Love of a Good Woman
This is another critically-acclaimed collection of short stories, some of which originally appeared in The New Yorker and Saturday Night magazine. It was published in 1998 and won the Giller Prize for that year. It also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

Dear Life
After this collection was published in 2012, Munro said she will retire from writing. In these stories, Munro stays true to her rural landscapes and explorations of ordinary lives and human nature. She won the Trillium Book Award for Dear Life

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